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Floods ravage Philippines capital

Catastrophic floods have hit the Philippines capital, killing at least 15 and causing power to be shut off across the city. Although many have been evacuated, some citizens remain stranded.

At least 15 people were killed following torrential rain and massive flooding, which paralyzed the Philippine capital Manila, along with nine northern provinces, on Tuesday.

The downpour, triggering a landslide and widespread flooding, caused tens of thousands of residents to flee their homes.

Traffic came to a standstill and many roads remained intraversable due to the floods, which reached up to 1.5 meters (4.92 feet). Sections of the capital were left without power after it was switched off as a safety precaution; water had filtered into the city's electrical facilities, Manila's power distributor said.

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Floods ravage Philippines capital

The catastrophic weather conditions prompted the government to close offices and schools. The president also instructed private businesses to shut shop. The Philippine Stock Exchange temporarily ceased trading and the American Embassy and other private businesses confirmed that they would close for the welfare of their employees.

‘There has been no rescue'

Eight thousand people in the suburban city, Marikina, were evacuated overnight, said local authorities and army trucks rescued trapped residents from their homes.

But Manila was still peppered with stranded commuters and cars. Panicked citizens called radio and television news agencies for aid.

"Please send help, I'm getting really worried," Charlie Mullon implored to a local cabel news channel. He was stranded along with 20 others, including four children, on a roof in the Manila suburb of Quezon.

"The current of the floodwaters is very strong...Other neighbours are also on their rooftops, but there has been no rescue," Mullon said.

The country's weather bureau attributed the weather to the southwest monsoon, energized by Typhoon Saola, which ripped through northern and central Philippines last week, killing at least 53 people.

sej/jlw (AFP, AP, dpa)

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